Monday, March 23, 2009

Special Interests Continue to Block Gun Control Law

The excuses and barriers against at least one of the 146 articles of the new arms law were interpreted by some legislators and the Myrna Mack Foundation as a response by the interests of organized crime and the arms business.

It was expected that the new law on weapons would be adopted last week in the full Congress, apparently with the support of all coalitions of Congress, but in the end they did not even reach the first article of the initiative. The session was followed closely by members of the Asociación de Tiro con Arma de Fuego, which opposes a reduction in the number of munitions that are available each month.

Congress members say they want to approve this legislation to prevent the proliferation of weapons and to punish the illegal use of firearms, but when they come close to achieving the goal, there appeared criticism, questions, and any other excuse to stop it.

This rule has been requested for years by social sectors. After four months of participating in workshops to review its contents, the majority of the blocs in Congress had assured that they had the necessary consensus to approve 72 articles.

Using the argument that they were unfamiliar with the proposed amendments and did not know the result of the workshops, they were excluded from the discussion, and legislators pointed out contradictions and gaps in them. Legislators then engaged in a lengthy discussion that led to a recess in the meeting to seek more agreements.

The debate will continue tomorrow (Tuesday), but skeptics doubt that this day be achieve any different result.

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